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What does it mean to follow Metroid?

Maddy Myers of Paste magazine connects the influence of the film Alien on the game Metroid and looks at how subsequent imitators have failed to live up to the promise of Metroid's original design. 'Troid Rage: Why Game Devs Should Watch Alien—and Play Metroid—Again
posted by codacorolla on Aug 11, 2014 - 14 comments

DO YOU CUT OFF YOUR ARM OR EAT A BABY?

"When I saw Snowpiercer, I thought, they’re working. I’ve never seen a movie be more like a video game and work. Everyone I knew called it "BioShock on a train", which is good shorthand, because it means you know you can expect an apocalyptic dystopia, with class struggles drawn grotesque, confined to a failing industrial space. Boom! Video games' language is useful!" [more inside]
posted by postcommunism on Aug 5, 2014 - 134 comments

No Skin Thick Enough

The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
posted by Librarypt on Jul 22, 2014 - 16 comments

TRIBES. TRIBES. TRIBES.

Before the release of Tribes 2, IGN interviewed the band Motley Crue about the theme song that they'd been contracted to do: "Then this new game came up, Tribes 2, and it was very up Motley Crue's alley. It was high-energy, very intense. We actually wrote music specifically for the game, as well as taking a few tracks off of the new album, and we're extremely excited about it. Now they're actually going to digitize us and put us in the game." The deal appeared to fall through, and the song was lost to time. However copies still exist on the Internet.
posted by codacorolla on Jul 17, 2014 - 10 comments

I rode my mountain bike over the continental divide and it was so Galaga

"Galaga" is an excerpt from Michael Kimball's book of the same name about the classic arcade game of the same name. Kimball is also the author of the heartbreaking novel Us and the experimental non-fiction Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard), his selected favorites from which are 45, 46, 51, 52, 54, 66, 70, 75, 86, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 112, 114, 118, 128, 129, 131, 133, 160, 165, 167, 171, 192, 195, 199, 209, 216, 221, 225 and 240. Postcards 54, 75, 98, 114, and 225 feature non-human subjects. 131 is Tao Lin, and 128 is Kimball himself. [Via.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 12, 2014 - 21 comments

Yes, yes, hadouken, but why hadouken, and when?

"How to play Street Fighter: a fighting game primer for everyone" explains the dynamics of how 2D fighting games work and why.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 8, 2014 - 29 comments

Yo ho ho and a bottle of stimpack reskinned as rum!

Yo ho, matey! Ever get to sorting through Doom mods and think "Wow, that's a lot of techbases and hell castles. I'd really prefer something a bit more Monkey Island-esque"? If so (and even if not), you'll want to check out Pirate Doom, which dresses up Doom monsters as pirates (down the Imps' fancy hats) and sends the player through 18 levels of pirate-demon action! Rock Paper Shotgun has a quick writeup, Doomed has a review of an older version, and here's a video of level 2, "Melee Island", to give a good idea of what you're in for. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 23, 2014 - 10 comments

SERVER SMASH

Waterson and Mattherson, the only two US east coast servers for the MMOFPS Planetside 2, are merging this month. On hearing the news, players from each server began talking smack, smack that quickly escalated to a call for a Server Smash, a 240 vs 240 campaign lasting 2 hours on one of the Planetside continents, to decide the surviving server name. [more inside]
posted by Slackermagee on Jun 19, 2014 - 8 comments

VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition

Terry Cavanagh's indie hit VVVVVV was an instant success, melding a Commodore 64 look and feel to a difficult but forgiving platformer whose only controls are move left, move right, and reverse gravity. The second edition of the game expanded from Windows and OSX to Linux, and added a level editor which could be used to make and export custom maps. Today, Cavanagh has announced VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition, which contains only the level editor and the ability to play custom levels, and which can now be downloaded for free for Windows, OSX, and Linux.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 12, 2014 - 19 comments

“Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock n' roll.”

A Short History of Game Panics: [Boing Boing] "Do you know where you child is? Watch out: they might be in an arcade! Jesse Walker of Reason Magazine on video gaming's juciest moral panics." [Previously] [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz on May 15, 2014 - 34 comments

This is why we can't have nice things.

"Naturally, the record for the largest and most costly single engagement in EVE history was expected to stand for some time. It didn’t."
posted by Evilspork on Apr 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Indie Ain't Just a Word

Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
posted by gilrain on Mar 31, 2014 - 46 comments

Then the game gets interesting again as you will be back to trains.

Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
posted by Evilspork on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 comments

Female portrayal in video games

QCF Design talks about making their game Desktop Dungeons more gender neutral. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Mar 4, 2014 - 27 comments

Steam Tags

This past week the digital game distribution service Steam unveiled a new beta feature: user contributed tags for games. Unsurprisingly, the feature was quickly abused, leading to Steam introducing means to moderate tag usage. The plus side to all of this is that you can now play a game where you match Steam tags to the games they describe! Steam Tags: The Game
posted by codacorolla on Feb 15, 2014 - 31 comments

Archive.org Makes Microcomputer Software Lives Again, in Your Browser

Archive.org is known for archiving a great number of things, broadly classified in terms of the web, written and printed text, studio audio and live music, and video. The most recent addition comes in various realms of software, as outlined by Jason Scott (MeFi's own jscott). But the newest addition is notable because it brings old software back through online emulation - behold, the Historical Software collection, from productivity software like VisiCalc (1979), WordStar (1981 Osborne 1 version), and The Print Shop (1984, NYT review) to vintage games including Eastern Front 1941 (1981), The Hobbit (1982), and Karateka (1984). If you're interested in the way this all works, you can read more on the Archive.org blog.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 13, 2014 - 45 comments

Cube

Cube: A Video About Video Game Graphics
posted by flatluigi on Feb 8, 2014 - 19 comments

Ridiculously comprehensive overview of the Nintendo GameCube's lifespan

A Dolphin's Tale: The Story of GameCube
The company discovered that many gamers became personally attached to their consoles. They would take their consoles over to a friend’s house to play, or they would move their console from one room to another. Nintendo decided to include a handle on the GameCube to give it portability and a more personal, friendly look.
posted by porn in the woods on Jan 24, 2014 - 35 comments

The Slippery Slope of Video Game Sales

When Jason Rohrer's Castle Doctrine hits Steam later this month, it will be on release sale for 12 dollars. After that, it will be 16 dollars. Forever. Rohrer talks to Giant Bomb about why he thinks constant sales are bad for games. (previously)
posted by graventy on Jan 23, 2014 - 100 comments

An Observer's Guide To Pony Fanwork

How much My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan content is there out there? LET'S FIND OUT. A few highlights:
What I Learned Today, morals to episodes
Twilight adjusts to a Season 3 plot development
Apogee, random, catchy
Celestia and Luna play Resident Evil 4 (repurposed from Two Best Friends)
The best of Sweetie Bot, from Friendship is Witchcraft
Slice of Life, a very well done fan Tumblr
How much more could there be? Well.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 23, 2014 - 126 comments

Hard Type

InsaneDifficulty.com is a community site dedicated to modifications of classic games which make them more difficult and complex. There are many games hosted by the community: Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy VI and Dark Souls among others. Most mods are supported in dedicated forums (including installation instructions) on the site's message boards.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 16, 2014 - 53 comments

Making Your Own Fun

A tumblr collecting unusual ways to play videogames.
posted by zamboni on Jan 14, 2014 - 22 comments

Objects in your crosshairs are exactly the size that they appear to be

This tech demo video from Pillow Castle Games (of Carnegie Mellon) showcases an innovative first person puzzler using the optical illusion of forced perspective.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 9, 2014 - 17 comments

Enough games to keep you occupied until 2015

freeindiegam.es has posted a bunch of "Best of 2013" lists for your enjoyment. Some of the games can be played in your browser (HTML5/Flash/Unity); others require a download—but they're all free! (And indie!) [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 comments

Game developers you should know

Twenty game developers you don't know, but should
posted by mediareport on Dec 27, 2013 - 29 comments

Video Game Foliage

Video Game Foliage. "Making spaces for games is a strange and interesting art. Not being bound by physical limitations makes it possible to create impossible structures, but being bound by the technical limitations of modern computer graphics makes it difficult to create accurate simulacra of even simple objects. So video games cheat, using approximations to create the desired aesthetic result. Plant approximations are especially hard, since organic structures tend to be difficult to describe in terms that graphics cards understand. This creates an interesting design constraint. How do you create representations of plants given the limitations of realtime rendering? I plan to use this blog to show a bunch of games that choose different answers to this question. I hope you’ll join me in looking into the weird world of video game foliage." [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 19, 2013 - 31 comments

A Lost World

In the 90s there was a niche Japanese game development house called Human Entertainment, which was perhaps most famous for its Clock Tower series, and was also the launchpad for the career of Suda51. Before they folded in 1999, they released one final title: the massive open world detective game known as Mizzurna Falls. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 15, 2013 - 10 comments

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 9, 2013 - 92 comments

"This is a military base! A military base needs explosive barrels!"

Fire Point is a free downloadable puzzle-platformer (Windows only, sorry) with retro graphics and a cheerful chiptune soundtrack. Use your fire hose and ladder, along with portable fire extinguishers, to fight fires and rescue people from the blazing infernos! A trailer is available here.
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 4, 2013 - 4 comments

An Illusionist in Skyrim

This is the diary of me attempting to play Skyrim using only Illusion magic: I'm not allowed any weapons, armour, or magical items, and I can't attack anyone directly.
The first entry is here, or you can see all entries to date here.
posted by cthuljew on Nov 25, 2013 - 81 comments

What is a castle? A miserable little pile of recurring rooms!

You might've noticed that the castles in the various Castlevania games, while different in every game, often feature similar areas and architectural ideas from game to game. You probably haven't gone to the trouble to catalogue these common components and their recurrences in the sprawling Castlevania series, but this is the internet, which means that somebody has.
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2013 - 12 comments

Billions and Billions of Path Traces

The Physics of Light and Rendering is a talk given at QuakeCon 2013 by John Carmack, co-creator of Doom, Quake, and many other games at id Software and beyond. It provides a detailed but surprisingly understandable history of 3D rendering techniques, their advantages and tradeoffs, and how they have been used in games and movies. (SLYT, 1:32:01, via)
posted by cthuljew on Oct 17, 2013 - 9 comments

Nostalgia, Brought To You By Web Technology

The original MacPaint brought back to life in HTML5. Plus: Mario Memories.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Oct 10, 2013 - 44 comments

Prêt-à-Jouer and Videogame Couture

What happens when we stop thinking about videogames as cinema and instead think of them through other media, like fashion, dance, or architecture?
posted by rollick on Oct 8, 2013 - 23 comments

Giant Bomb

PayPal locked down the developer’s account, and said it could only have 50% of the funds. The rest would be released as development continued, based on PayPal’s assessment of the situation. PayPal was, essentially, going to become a producer going forward. Crowdfunding's Secret Enemy is PayPal
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 20, 2013 - 73 comments

It's not weird for girls to play videogames!

Elizabeth Simins is an illustrator and a gamer. The latter wasn't always easy, though, which she illustrates in a four-part comic on growing up as a girl gamer.
posted by gilrain on Sep 16, 2013 - 77 comments

300 Game Mechanics (give or take)

This is my attempt to document three hundred different gameplay concepts of my own creation. Sean Howard, creator of the webcomic A Modest Destiny, started publishing ideas and examinations of game mechanics once a day in 2007. After fifty days he quit the daily schedule, but he's up to 168 ideas and also has a small collection of prototypes and free-to-use pixel art. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Aug 4, 2013 - 40 comments

Female Experience Simulator

Good morning! Isn't it a beautiful day to be a woman?
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 3, 2013 - 370 comments

Peach can change her emotions at will

Anita Sarkeesian has released the 3rd video in her Tropes vs Women in Games series, focusing on gender-reversals on the Damsel in Distress formula.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 1, 2013 - 120 comments

Chasing the Whale: Examining the ethics of free-to-play games

Via Gamasutra: "I used to work at [company], and it paid well and advanced my career," the person told me. "But I recognize that [company]'s games cause great harm to people's lives. They are designed for addiction. [company] chooses what to add to their games based on metrics that maximize players' investments of time and money. [company]'s games find and exploit the right people, and then suck everything they can out of them, without giving much in return. It's not hard to see the parallels to the tobacco industry."
posted by tarpin on Jul 24, 2013 - 106 comments

The camera never falls over during a scene. Actors are always in frame.

If Films Were Reviewed Like Video Games
posted by cthuljew on Jul 10, 2013 - 63 comments

Back on the streets

The first official gameplay video for Grand Theft Auto V has been released. The highly anticipated open-world game, which lets you control 3 different characters, will be released in September for the PS3 and XBox 360.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jul 9, 2013 - 111 comments

The Games History E-zine

Memory Insufficient is a free webzine edited by Zoya Street dedicated to articles about computer games and history. The first issue is called Women's Histories in Games [pdf], with a feature on female pirates. Asian Histories in Games [pdf] is the second issue, the feature being about ken, the Japanese game known as rock, paper, scissors in English. The upcoming issue will be devoted histories of gender and sexual diversity in games. [via Flash of Steel]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 5, 2013 - 2 comments

Salty Tears of Ragequit

"In Praise of Brutally Hard Video Games" [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jun 5, 2013 - 138 comments

Something wonderful is about to happy!

Footage of the "Sync" level from the indie game Fez. While Fez is mainly known for its central gimmick – it's a 2D platformer set in a 3D world – and for the complexity of its puzzles (which include a constructed alphabet, a code based on Tetris tetrominos, and a "practically impossible" final puzzle) – "Sync" is a retro-colored world with blocks whose rhythmic appearances and disappearances trigger notes when the player is near them. The result is somewhat enchanting (as is the rest of the game). [the Fez soundtrack with the Sync backing track; a Fez remix soundtrack with the various block rhythms added in; Fez previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Rory Marinich on May 30, 2013 - 67 comments

Open Source Game Clones

Open-source reimplementations of great old games in one place. Previously.
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 30, 2013 - 15 comments

I Was Into Games Before They Were Cool

Obscure Videogames presents obscure Japanese videogames as gorgeous animated gifs.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 16, 2013 - 5 comments

Focus on the background: animated GIFs of fighting game stages

"I have a huge collection of fighting game backgrounds as gifs. Figured you guys might appreciate it."
posted by filthy light thief on May 11, 2013 - 27 comments

Crowd funding, One Year Later

What does the crowdfunding landscape look like for game developers one year after Kickstarter exploded onto the scene?
posted by Artw on May 5, 2013 - 10 comments

Next Gen Cat Poop

"Remember kids, whenever you get frustrated at the state of the art, or you find yourself struggling to express yourself, just repeat after me: FUCK. VIDEOGAMES." Darius Kazemi (previously,previously and previously) writes about the use and abuse of video games as a means of expression.
posted by codacorolla on May 3, 2013 - 25 comments

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